6The sun has generally been shining during the first week after the Easter break as we prepare for the summer months in school. It is always an exciting time and in some way a long term of two halves: assessments and exams – both within school and public exams – followed by a whole host of activities across the school in June and July. We also say “goodbye” to our Year 11 and Year 13 students and much more to follow on this in the weeks to come.

I have been leading assemblies this week with a focus on the standard of the week, Manners. The core school ethos of being Able and Qualified has been a big part of this, with an emphasis on becoming Able as a young person being about the softer skills of building and developing relationships which are so important. As we know, our students almost always get it right with their approach in school – the pleases and the thankyous, the good mornings and the hellos, holding doors open, looking out for staff, visitors and each other – but I also mentioned the importance of this in the local community and beyond. It makes a real difference and is noticed and appreciated by adults. We also want our students to be the very best representations of themselves, their families and the school at all times. This is particularly pertinent for our Year 10 students when they go on their Work Experience placements next week and we wish them well.

As ever, a lot going on in school: I have particularly enjoyed visiting the Chess Club and the Gardening Club at lunchtimes this week and also look forward to this morning’s Hustings as Year 12 students put themselves forward for next year’s Student Leadership Team.

Finally, as you may be aware some members of the NEU are currently scheduled to take strike action on Thursday 27th April and Tuesday 2nd May, as part of their ongoing dispute with the Government over a number of issues. As previously, we have been taking stock of what we are able to offer in school on those days. Further information on this will follow at the start of next week but I can confirm that as things currently stand students in Years 9, 11, 12 and 13 will be in school on Thursday 27th April and students in Years 7 and 8 will be offered remote learning; as mentioned above, Year 10 students are on Work Experience on this day. Thank you in advance for your patience with this matter.